Apple MacBook Pro self-service repairs are expensive and complex

If you plan to replace a MacBook Pro battery yourself through Apple’s self-service repair system, be prepared for a long and arduous process that will cost you more than $500.

On Tuesday, Apple began selling official replacement parts for the latest M1 MacBooks, offering consumers a way to repair the products themselves. However, electronics repair provider iFixit claims that Apple’s approach to self-service repairs can make MacBook Pros “look less repairable.”

In a blog post, iFixit notes that replacing a battery in any of the M1 MacBook Pro models requires removing around a dozen other parts, including the display, logic board, and fans, following official Apple repair manuals. For the 14-inch MacBook Pro, this means reviewing a 162-page document that covers the various steps.

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By contrast, iFixit’s own repair guide for replacing a 14-inch MacBook Pro M1 battery is 26 steps.

The other problem with Apple’s repair approach, iFixit says, is that it requires the consumer to spend more than $500 to buy the replacement part, which includes the battery and a new keyboard cover all together. There is currently no option to purchase a replacement battery individually.

The cost of the part

“And so his [repair] The guide has you remove literally every component of the top case. The laptop is built into the top case, so to get to it, you have to dismantle everything,” iFixit’s Sam Goldheart wrote in the blog post.

According to iFixit, the result leaves “DIY repairmen with a bunch of excruciating hurdles” when it comes to repairing a MacBook Pro. “Apple seems to be saying, ‘In reality, our batteries are so hard to replace, they’re literally the last part you take away,’” Goldheart added. Meanwhile, Apple’s repair guide for the MacBook Air M1 only requires you to remove the bottom case and speakers when replacing the battery.

The good news is that a notice on Apple’s self-service repair store says that it will eventually sell individual battery replacement parts for the M1 MacBook Pro. So the repair process may be simpler and more affordable. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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